Never knowingly undersolved.

General Discussion

Posted by Admin on December 26th, 2010


This page is for the discussion of general crossword related matters and other topics of interest.

423 Responses to “General Discussion”

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  1. 401
    Alan Says:

    Thanks Gaufrid,

    Kind of you to reply so quickly. Please don’t feel bad about mentioning what might be obvious but in fact I had made sure that option was ticked (and I also tried it without but it made no difference). Strangely, I had the app some time ago on a previous computer and had no problem then, which was why I was all the more surprised when I had these printing problems. It is at least a little comforting to realise that I’m not the only one (although clearly in a very small minority!)

  2. 402
    Brendan (not that one) Says:

    Alan, I get this too. I think it’s something to with your printer driver.

    If you’ve not already solved this here’s how I get round it.

    Solution 1 (not so good)

    My printer is an HP Deskjet 3070 which is OK but pretty basic. If I go to Properties on the Print window where I choose the printer I can choose an “Advanced” button. Here are various default options.

    One is Borderless Printing which seems to default to “Print with Border”. Printing with this option gives what you describe. If I change this to “Print Borderless” the print is all on the page but the last bit of the page is in Blue!

    Solution 2 (Better)

    If you’re using Windows 7 or Vista print your crossword to the “Microsdoft XPS Document Writer”. This writes the print to an XPS file for which you have to choose a name and location.

    Double click on this file afterwards and it will open in the “XPS Viewer”. It should look OK and printing from here will also be OK.

  3. 403
    sidey Says:

    Has anyone else encountered the Beta version of the crossword page at the Graun yet? Click the Beta link at the top of the page while on the page.

    I feel it needs as many people as possible to view it and send feedback as soon as possible. There is a link at the bottom of the Beta page to a Feedback survey.

  4. 404
    Hughr Says:

    Please can anyone recommend a crossword designer that is free to use and accessible via the web? I can see that a few come up when searching but I wondered if people here could recommend a good one to use.

  5. 405
    Derek Lazenby Says:

    Hughr: Go here
    You have to use the contact link to send an e-mail saying you want that app. He will reply with instructions as to how to obtain it. Nice chap, I helped beta test the latest version(s), so had lots of interaction to form that opinion. The software is seriously good. I’ve paid money for much worse apps than this excellent freebie.

  6. 406
    Brendan (not that one) Says:

    sidey @403

    I wouldn’t advise anybody to visit the beta version of the Guardian Crossword page yet.

    The page is absolutely not in any fit state for evaluation as almost nothing is there and what is there is atrocious.

    You may also find difficulty returning your browser to the non-beta version for the whole Guardian site.

    As an IT professional of 40 years I feel that this “beta test” is the most ill thought out plan I have ever seen! No surprise there from the Guardian IT team ;-)

  7. 407
    Paul8hours Says:

    I have got myself into the Guardian Beta site. The functionality is not user friendly. My big problem is that there is no link to the new Genius no 134. Can anyone provide this link please ?

  8. 408
    Gaufrid Says:

    Hi Paul8hours

  9. 409
    sidey Says:

    Brendan @406

    I don’t know if you were around the last time the Graun played silly b’s with the crossword pages but there was no consultation beforehand.

    The whole point of visiting the beta is to fill in the feedback survey and tell them why it’s atrocious. Paul @407 illustrates one, no links to a lot of the content. They won’t get it right unless they are told what’s wrong.

    To get out of the beta for certain requires deleting any Guardian cookies.

  10. 410
    paul8hours Says:

    Many thanks Gaufrid!

  11. 411
    Paul8hours Says:

    By the way, l see there is a ‘current version’ link bottom right of the Beta version which gets you back to the original site.

  12. 412
    Brendan (not that one) Says:

    Sidey @409

    I know what you are saying but I honestly believe that the Guardian IT goons haven’t even started designing the new crossword page yet. All that’s happened is some rough “placeholding” stuff and this is nothing like the final offering.

    The link to Beta is probably there on all pages and shouldn’t be on the Crossword page yet.

    Any comments will probably be ignored at the moment :-(

  13. 413
    Derek Lazenby Says:

    For the last few days one of the online word list gadgets seems to have dissappeared, to whit xsolver (also xsolver2). Anybody heard anything about what has happened?

  14. 414
    Derek Lazenby Says:

    Belay that. Depending on the browser, xsolver2 seems to redirect to xsolver. xsolver works, but not on the older version of IE that I normally use. Please don’t say, well update IE because there are reasons why I prefer the version I use.

  15. 415
    Brendan (not that one) Says:

    I’ve moved the Archive of all Guardiab Puzzles since 24th June 1999.

    It’s on Box which is a much more user-friendly site.

    The link will give you a preview of the Summary sheet. You can also download the whole Excel xls file if you prefer.

    I assume the data is the intellectual property of The Guardian though it is all available in the public domain.

    It is up to date until 2nd September and I will try to update it every month or so.

    If anybody can fill in any of the missing 5 puzzles I would be grateful.

    Archive of Guardian Cryptic Puzzles

  16. 416
    newmarketsausage Says:

    Does anyone know how to get a decent-size print version of the FT puzzles?

    Whatever I do with the zoom options on the FT crossword page seems to make no difference to the size of the print out: tiny grid, very small type size, acres of white space.

    If anyone can help, I’d be grateful.

  17. 417
    Gaufrid Says:

    Hi newmarketsausage
    I use the latest version of the Adobe Reader and the FT puzzle fills an A4 sheet, so none of your problems. Just make sure that, when the ‘Print Dialogue’ box appears, the ‘Page Sizing & Handling’ section has both the ‘Fit’ and ‘Auto portrait/landscape’ options selected.

  18. 418
    newmarketsausage Says:

    Thanks, Gaufrid.

    I don’t get those options from the print dialogue box, although I have the Adobe Reader installed.

    Is it possible the page is not loading in that program? Or could the problem be due to the printer I have?

    I’m at a bit of a loss.

  19. 419
    Gaufrid Says:

    Hi newmarketsausage
    I’ll reply via email because it would probably help if I include a screenshot or two.

  20. 420
    JollySwagman Says:

    Did this (#416 onwards) get sorted out?

    It’ll most likely be down to the endless Adobe updates which come through. Up until a while back my gf and I both used FireFox with Adobe claiming to be up to date – somehow the set-ups looked completely different but they both gave good full-page printouts of FT puzzles.

    Now I have to increase the scaling to 150% for the FT – 160% is better but 150 is on the list and near enough – also set the orientation to Landscape. Trouble is it holds that when I go back to the Guardian so I have to change it back again there.

    The setting is made in Print-Preview which is accessed through the File menu.

    Latest default Firefox doesn’t show that but it can be got by clicking the top right logo which looks like a pile of sliced bread and going Customise. Then at the bottom of that screen Show/Hide Toolbars has the necessary options. I have both checked.

    If anyone knows how I can get back to having it all work automatically I’d love to hear – but it’s not (as they say in the trade) a showstopper.

    Funny phrase that since in entertainment showstoppers are good things.

  21. 421
    newmarketsausage Says:

    Hello, JS.

    Yes, it did get sorted. I should really have reported back here to say so.

    The problem was with Firefox. It was loading the FT crossword page in its built-in PDF reader. You have to stop it doing that by specifying the use of Adobe Reader instead.

    I can’t remember now exactly how I did this but it was a known issue resulting from one of the Firefox updates (quite a while ago). If you look on the Firefox support forums you’ll get pointed to the solution very quickly.

    From (unreliable) memory it was as you say via the customise option right at the bottom of the page you get when clicking on the three-slice toaster icon. Once you’ve done the necessary you get the right print dialogue box on Adobe Reader and don’t have to do anything further.

    As Gaufrid says, what you then get is a nice full A4 size page print out.

  22. 422
    sidey Says:

    Adobe Reader is a ghastly bit of software, if you are fed up with it you could try Foxit Reader. There is one problem with that too in that the installer from Foxit will try to con you into downloading some cr@pware, the solution is to use the Ninite Installer from

    Scroll down, under Documents tick the box by Foxit Reader, click the Get Installer button. Run the download and it will install Foxit without “extras”.

    During Installation select Make Foxit my default PDF Viewer.

    Keep the Installer, it is the quickest way to update Foxit when it tells you updates are available.

    You can also use Foxit to fill forms, create pdfs or as a software printer to convert any printable file to pdf.

    Sorry for longwindedness

  23. 423
    Brendan (not that one) Says:

    sidey @422

    Thanks for your longwindedness ;-)

    What a brilliant piece of software!

    I am currently away from home on a canal boat with “limited but good” internet access. I was doing some work which required a very large Word doc I had created converting to PDF so others could view it correctly. (They’re too tight to buy Word and Libre/OpenOffice doesn’t render “complicated” Word docs particularly well!)

    My laptop is XP (for various software licensing reasons) and it’s version of Word can’t produce PDFs!

    I was thinking of installing one of the “free” PDF/Print solutions but couldn’t face removing all the cr@p that these products install.

    Foxit is “brilliant” and is going on everything at home as soon as I get back!

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